WHERE HAVE I BEEN? Korean Thanksgiving just ended and it’s back to work! What did I do during my five day vacation? It was basically a lot of
Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been on a five day “Gossip Girl” binge, so it’s time to stop making lists and start dishing out some gossip about what’s been happening in Korea lately. Summer is over and fall in Korea is starting up. With it brings a new semester. “But Sabrina, you JUST said summer was over! Don’t you mean a new school year is starting?” is what you might be thinking BUT no. In Korea, the school year ends in February and a new one starts in March. It’s literally just the next week. No break. Kids come back from winter vacation in February and finish out the year and then they start a new year the first week of March.
With the new semester came an amazing schedule change that I am so grateful for. I am at my worst school on Mondays and Tuesdays now and my good school the rest of the week. Even though it seems like it would be awful to start the week off at my bad school, I could not be happier! I used to leave there every Friday so anxious, stressed, sad, angry, depressed- you name it! That would carry on through the weekend and would kill the nice, warm feelings I got from my first school. Now I can just get through Mondays and Tuesdays and look forward to the rest of the week
BUT as you should all know by now, when something good happens to you in Korea, something bad also has to happen. It’s called the law of “Fuck You” and Korea takes the law VERY seriously. My “good” school ended up giving me a two-hour conversation club with the the teachers in my school and on the first day, one of the older teachers just looked at me, unimpressed, and said, “I like to be the boss. In control.”
That was day one of our class. She pretty much stayed that way the rest of class and demanded more time for several activities. I obliged because I have no desire to be there anyways. ALSO two of the three days I am there, I have five classes IN A ROW. If I sound like a baby, let me explain. Having four classes sucks already BUT adding that fifth class? AND it’s after lunch?! It’s just a stab through the heart. Teaching is really repetitive and after doing the same lesson three times, you’re ready to blow your brains out. FIVE TIMES THOUGH?! Believe me, I would not wish that on ANYONE! By fifth period, everything smells like ass and no one wants to be there. The kids just ate lunch and are getting ready to go to their second schools. PLUS if you have a co-teacher who plans the whole lesson and just has you standing around or even if you plan the lesson, it’s awful! Even if you could show a movie for each lesson, you would be so done with seeing the same scenes five times in a row. Having two of those classes a week is seriously tough titties and I’m still trying to develop a coping mechanism to get through it. But I do have Thursdays completely free now, which makes getting through Wednesday and getting to Friday bearable. At my bad school, I’ve been given an 8:30 AM Writing Club to START Mondays off with. Ah Korea…
Last, but not least, I now have three new co-teachers. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll remember that one of my co-teachers “Chicken Little” suffers from a combination of having no life and being extremely nosy. Praise the lord though BECAUSE if you ask, he or she will deliver! I had to ask about a million times though, but I have limited contact with her now. I only teach with her on Mondays for two periods and then I run upstairs to teach with a different teacher. On Tuesdays, Chicken Little works at another school. It’s honestly so amazing that my first Tuesday back, I asked if she was sick and my office mate said, “Oh, you didn’t know? She goes to another school on Tuesdays…” I played it cool on the outside, but on the inside I just…
They might as well have told me that I was now the owner of a villa in Tuscany next door to Cristiano Ronaldo and he had just been in a weird accident which makes it too hard for him to wear pants! I couldn’t believe it! It was quite the joyous occasion. But as I said, with all good news in Korea…My two new co-teachers are characters- one of them is an evil bitchy stepmother (though she’s only 23) and the other one looks likes Hatsumomo from “Memoirs of a Geisha” and I’m scared that at any moment, she’s gonna accuse me of making her things smell because I touched them. It’s crazy, but they can both be managed and aren’t causing any new issues…yet.
Going back to Chicken Little, today has been QUITE the circus thanks to her. If you recall, anytime I get a message from her, it’s actually a foreshadowing of bad shit to come. Sunday night (yesterday) I was out enjoying the last day of vacation. I had just gotten out of a movie and was on my way home when I see her name pop up on my phone. My first instinct was to throw my phone in front of an oncoming bus. I decided against it and opened the message… She was asking if I had planned anything for tomorrow’s lesson. Remember: I’ve been teaching with her for 6 months. I have planned a lesson EVERY WEEK for basically 6 months. She KNOWS I have something planned. It seems like a fairly innocent question, but come on now! How would I even show her the lesson I did have? Koreans aren’t as into email as we are, so it’s not like I can email her the lesson. PLUS we come into work way before class starts. FINALLY, I never show her my lessons! I just tell her what I’m doing and none of my lessons EVER require anything from her that she would need advanced warning for! My eye was already twitching. She knew what she was doing- being a pest because of the aforementioned “no life” thing. I just wrote back that I had something planned and she didn’t even respond…
Today rolls around and we head up to class. Now class starts at 9:00 AM and I like to go to the classroom early so I can load up my PowerPoint and get situated for the day. Unfortunately, she is always sitting at her computer, diligently working until 8:58 when she suddenly looks up and says, “Oh Sobe! We have class, let’s go!” By the time we get up there, the kids are already in the hallway and we have to open the door, start the computer, etc. It’s at this point where one would DEDUCE that since I am hastily trying to log into my email, download the materials, and just get ready SHE would keep the kids busy. Maybe ask them about their weekend, etc. BUT no…she just stands there, watching them, watching me, watching us. She says nothing. The kids just sit there looking at me and I’m all
KEEP IN MIND that she has plenty of experience teaching without me! It’s the most awkward 2-3 minutes of my life and it’s a guaranteed event every Monday. Moving forward, I start the class, I’m getting into the swing of things, and I make a beautiful transition to my PowerPoint. I’m asking the kids questions, etc and she just looks at me and says, “Oh Sobe. They are not on this lesson. They are on the lesson from last time. I couldn’t teach it and I forgot to tell you…”
I had to start the whole process again and find the materials from last week WHILE still keeping the kids entertained because Chicken Little was busy practicing staring at her feet. I do believe she’s in training for the 2020 Olympics. By this point, we’ve wasted about 20 minutes of a 40 minute class. We keep it moving and the kids watch a short video from their textbook to help them practice the language EXCEPT the kid in the book has a hearty Spanish accent…he was ASIAN! So NOW the kids are repeating what they hear and are saying the words “robot” and “Can you help me, please?” with this accent and I’m subtly trying to correct it, but it was too late. They are now the same as the kid in the book! FINALLY the class comes to a close and Chicken Little is doing the goodbye portion when one of the kids start squealing and crying… I look at her to get the gist of what’s going on and she just pretends nothing is happening and sends them on their way. By this time, I’m exhausted. It’s as if I spent an eternity in this hellhole with her and she just comes out without a scar. I will have my revenge on her ONE day.
That’s all for today. I’ve had a stomachache for about a month now with no known causes OR cures, but I think working with Satan might be a contributing factor. Thanks for reading this blog and as per usual, if you find that I’m complaining and whining, etc, you’re probably right…but so what? No one asked you. You’re obviously obsessed with me if you keep reading these and no matter what I write, that’s not gonna change.